Little Touches

I am settling into using the iPhone for all sorts of things now. A full day into the experience and I am getting very comfortable with the features and how to navigate the interface — I am discovering the usability is even better than I expected … the thing has Apple’s elegant design touches all over the place.

As an example, I set up my voicemail today and was so surprised at just how easy the whole experience is. I am replacing a Treo 650, so you’d think this thing wouldn’t be all that much better than my old smart phone … well, let’s just say that everything is so much clearer on this phone. On my Treo, just finding how to setup and activate voicemail took me way too much time. With the iPhone, you just touch “voicemail” while in the phone interface to get started. The iPhone actually provides real instructions that let you get started … you type in your password twice and then are able to just record your greeting. Want to review it? No problem … you are able to that with a little slider and standard audio controls. Took seconds.

Voicemail itself is amazing … it has “visual voicemail” so you see the person whose call you missed and are able to listen to them as if you are picking up email — in any order. Each message has its own audio controls as well, so if you miss a number or other important information you can just scrub back and listen. The last feature that is so simple, but so effective is a little button that allows you to re-record your greeting. Seems so trivial, but I have no idea how to do that on my Treo, or on my work phone for that matter. If I am going to be away from my phone for a couple of days, just having the ability to instantly update the away message is a life saver.

The total package of the iPhone is the real deal, but as I discover new things I am amazed at how all the little touches are adding up.

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